SERAP and Other Stakeholders Oppose CBN’s Order on Customer Social Media Data

The Central Bank of Nigeriahas issued a directive requiring financial institutions to collect customers’ social media handles as part of their Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements. This development was revealed in the CBN’s report titled ” Customer Due Diligence Regulations 2023.” Aiming to improve anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CFT) provisions. However, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organization, opposes the directive claiming it infringes on Nigerians’ right to free speech and confidentiality. According to analysts’ observations and interpretations of the directive’s potential consequences, collecting extensive personal information, such as social media handles, raises concerns about data privacy. Nigeria already has many other options for KYC, including its NIN and BVN services, which many Nigerians still have trouble reconciling. The necessity of social media handles is questionable, considering only 31.6m Nigerians, approximately 16% of the population, have access to social media.

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